Getting there is half the fun!

Remember the 11-day traffic jam in China 2 years ago?  I wasn’t there — thank goodness — but I felt an ounce of fear last night that something similar would happen to me on my way from the airport in Guiyang to Huangping, where I am comfortably air-conditioned now. After 2 hours of racing (I’m talkin’ The Fast and the Furious) through the windy mountainous roads, we came to a halt. For the next 2 hours. By the time we were rolling again, it was already 8:30 pm and would be another 2 hours before dinner. Oh, what’s a 4-hour delay??

(Indiscreetly peeing roadside.)

We were dropped off at the side of a highway (the first time was at a fork in the road), walked through a toll booth with our luggage, only to be picked up by another manic driver who would fly us to dinner, and eventually to our hotel. We were going 60 on roads that would’ve been marked 20 in the US.

One of our drivers (the one who was going to drop us off at the fork in the road). He was all drive, no talk (except when he got a phonecall, which was quite often).

I am safe and sound in Huangping county now, where it’s humid and grey and surrounded by green hills. The majority of the population here are Miao, people from one of the largest ethnic minorities of China.

The locals are very friendly and don’t stare rudely (as they do in Beijing) at the American teacher in our group, a 70-something lady from Jersey who has been teaching English in various countries for over 32 years. But she happens to love Guizhou–its terrain, the Miao and Dong people–so here she is again to train local/rural English teachers on developing their own teaching methods, and I am here to assist.

Nothing spectacular has happened yet, but getting here was certainly half the fun–if you’re into adrenaline rushes from near-death fright.

**If you want to see beautiful photography of Guizhou, check out John Fanai’s site.**

7 Comments on “Getting there is half the fun!”

  1. Laura says:

    I’m so excited for you! You are such a great literacy teacher! Keep updating us 🙂

  2. daterofboys says:

    4 hour traffic jams – I unfortunately know what that’s like…but as the driver, there may have been a point around hour 3 when I cried…
    Sounds like you’re in a great place, now, though – enjoy assisting 🙂

  3. Alice Meadows says:

    I love the idea of the Miao people, I just can’t help thinking of cats purring…

  4. Mooselicker says:

    There are few things I hate more than traffic. Probably the people driving the cars. I hate them more than the actual cluster of cars. I just think about all the stupid places they wanted to go and because of it I’m sitting in the heat not moving. Never drive with me. You will realize I am the most inhumane person to ever exist with the vulgarity I spew.

  5. How exciting. It’s true, half the fun is getting there. 🙂

  6. lostnchina says:

    You sure the big belly driver wasn’t flirty flirty with you?

    Actually, I once went to a wedding in Taipei where one guy with a huge stomach was wearing a wife beater and hiked it up like your driver in the middle of the reception, while stuffing himself with seafood. It was…interesting. Like watching a train collide with a herd of buffalo.

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